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SPORT – CYCLING

Froome ‘surprised’ by Wiggins Tour de France doping revelations

British cyclist Chris Froome, 2016 Tour de France champion, said Tuesday he was surprised by doping revelations concerning his rival and former teammate Bradley Wiggins.
British cyclist Chris Froome, 2016 Tour de France champion, said Tuesday he was surprised by doping revelations concerning his rival and former teammate Bradley Wiggins. AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard
2 min

Tour de France cycling champion Chris Froome said Tuesday he was surprised by doping revelations concerning his British rival Bradley Wiggins.

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Wiggins has been in the spotlight since a group of hackers calling themselves the Fancy Bears leaked medical data in mid-September that showed cycling authorities had granted the five-time Olympic champion a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone.

Wiggins said he needed the drug to help control his asthma and took it days prior to the 2012 Tour de France, which he won, as well as other tournaments.

A report in Britain’s Daily Mail this month revealed United Kingdom Anti-Doping wanted to question him over a medical package delivered to his Team Sky bosses ahead of the 2011 Tour de France.

The TUEs were approved by the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, and both Wiggins and Sky boss Dave Brailsford insisted they have done nothing wrong.

Froome reacted to Wiggins’s TUE use on Cyclingnews.com, saying “I was surprised, it was the first that I had heard of them.

“I had seen Bradley Wiggins using his inhalers so I knew he had asthma, but I wasn’t aware of his allergies.

“Without knowing the exact details of his medical condition, it’s impossible to say if he was operating in a grey area.”

Froome himself has a known history of TUEs for short courses of prednisolone, a steroid used to treat acute chest complaints, in 2013 and 2014.

The 31-year-old told Cyclingnews.com prednisolone was “the standard treatment for post-infection inflammation” and that “I don't believe that there are any alternative treatments, and performance enhancement is negligible.

“With regards to Wiggins’s TUEs, questions remain over his symptoms, the choice of treatment and the related performance benefits from that treatment,” Froome said.
 

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